Former Royal Marines Commandos ride together once again as biker group arrive for Falklands War commemorations in Portsmouth

ROARING into Portsmouth on Harley-Davidson motorbikes, a group of distinguished former Royal Marine Commandos have praised the city for its support for the armed services – now and during the Falklands conflict 40 years ago.

Sunday, 19th June 2022, 5:19 pm
Updated Sunday, 19th June 2022, 6:01 pm

More than a dozen former Commandos from the Royal Marines Association Riders Branch arrived in Old Portsmouth to join the commemorations for the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War.

The city should feel proud not just for the remembrance events, but also the part it played during the conflict, according to Warsash resident and former green beret Jon Spencer.

The 73-year-old said: ‘I think it’s fantastic that so many different organisations and parts of the armed services have come together - we are still all part of that task force, whether we are a green beret or a red beret.

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Pictured is: Royal Marine Association Riders. Picture: Keith Woodland (190621-27)

‘It wasn’t just the military. It was the dockyards working 24/7

‘Without them the ships wouldn’t have been ready and we wouldn’t got off in time.

‘Action out of chaos - that’s what the military trains for.’

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And there was certainly a lot of chaos during the Falklands conflict, according to retired Commando Russell Craig.

Recalling his time on the islands, the 63-year-old said: ‘It was chaos – absolute chaos.

‘It hasn’t come into the public understanding, but it was a very, very close run thing.

‘If the Argentines had held out for a little bit longer we would have run out of resources.

‘By the last week we were on half rations.

‘But I just look at it as that’s what I did. That was my job.’

Among the veterans were several Commandos whose military service spanned from the war in 1982 into the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan – but some were unsure if the country would hold similar commemorations for the wars sparked by the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Russell said: ‘I don’t think we will have events like this for Iraq and Afghanistan.

‘There’s a lot of ill-feeling towards those wars due to the politicians who led us to war.

‘Afghanistan and Iraq are too politically complicated.

‘The Falklands was the last “just” war.’